Thursday, February 25, 2021

DIY Hellebores Winter Blooms

Hey all! I'd like to introduce you to the Hellebores plant!  Some may know it as the Christmas rose that's popular around the holidays.  When most flowering plants are lying dormant during the winter months, the Hellebores is blooming like no other. The plants are surprisingly frost-resistant and many are evergreen ranging in beautiful hues from white to purpleblack!  Sounds amazing, doesn't it!

Here's a little bit about the hellebores. What you see when looking at the hellebores are not petals but sepals - five of them which are sometimes spotted and splashed with beautiful colors, too! The function of the sepals is to protect the flower part which is in the center like a cluster of stamens and small petals. Check them out in the photo!

That being said, I found inspiration in creating a version of the hellebores out of foam sheets - one of my favorite crafting mediums. I love making flowers with foam sheets like here and here. Take a look at this hellebores close-up: Can you imagine creating something similar with foam sheets for this month's Creative Craft Blog Hop?
Sepals (A) normally form outside of petals as a protection and support of the bud and flower. There are usually 5 sepals. The stamens (B) are the male part of the flower and are made up of 2 parts, the long white filament and the anther that sits on top holding the pollen. There can be up to 150 stamens per flower. The stamens surround the female part of the flower, the carpel (C). Fertilization of the carpels can be by insects, bees or wind. Replacing the petal in the case of Hellebores are small nectaries (D) that sit at the base of the sepals and provide food for pollinators.
                                                         Diagram of the parts of a Hellebore flower. 

To make - 

Gather:
Foam Sheets - 8"x12" Thin (1-2 mm) 
Floral stem wire
Hot glue gun and glue sticks
Faux stamen
Duct tape
Sepal (petal) pattern
Acrylic paint
Chalk pastels
Leaf mold (optional)
Iron, scissors, straight pin, skewer stick, sponge, water


Instructions:

It's best to use the thinnest foam sheets you can find. The ones found in the children's craft section at the craft stores are a bit thick to make flowers. Luckily, I had a pack of thin foam sheets I had gotten from the Dollar Tree a couple of years ago but I don't think they carry this any longer. I haven't been able to find any for quite sometime now. Too bad there wasn't any purple in the bunch, but it did have pink, yellow and green sheets - enough to show you how to make a hellebores. 

Let's begin with making the carpel (center) by taking a strip of yellow foam sheet about a half inch wide and six inches long. Fold the strip in half and make thin cuts along the strip leaving a border at the top.

Then apply hot glue along the border .  .  .
and begin twirling the foam strip onto a floral stem wire - and applying hot glue to the end to seal. This is the female part of the hellebores called the carpel and is surrounded by the stamen which I'm showing you how to make next.
Take a 2" strip of duct tape and place faux stamen on top of the adhesive backing leaving the ends clear. Then cut along the center and .  .  .
wrap the adhesive piece around the foam (carpel) center.


To make the sepals, fold over a foam sheet four times to create space to outline a pattern 2 1/4"x1 3/4" using the tip of a skewer stick. You will need to cut out at least 10 to make two hellebores. 

Next, dip a straight pin in acrylic paint and add "rays" to each sepal .  .  .
using a damp sponge rubbed over the end of a chalk pastel to tint with additional color. 

Seal colors and soften the foam by laying each sepal on an iron plate for a few seconds.
Wrap the base and stem wire in floral tape.
Then begin gluing sepals on, one at a time .  .  .
until all  .  .  .

five are attached.
Then begin wrapping the base and stem wire with floral tape.
Add leaf shapes by cutting out green rectangle 4"x2 3/4" pieces .  .  .
and placing on an iron for a few seconds and quickly pressing down on a leaf mold to give the foam texture (optional) Click here to make leaves without a mold.
Then cut out the textured piece in a leaf shape .  .  .
and add floral stems to center back using hot glue. Then connect the leaves to the main hellebores stem wire using .  .  .
 floral tape.

Welcome to our monthly Creative Craft Blog Hop created by Chloe @ Celebrate & Decorate and Andrea @ Design MorselsI've teamed up with a talented group of creative bloggers to bring you lots of wonderful ideas and inspirations!  

 If you're following the blog hop, up next, is Mary @ Home is Where the Boat Is  sharing her awesome project!

Monday, February 15, 2021

Braided Rope Spring Wreath

I love the look of anything braided! It's such a simple way to create interesting patterns. So when this month's Pinterest Challenge was all about Spring Wreaths, I knew I had to make something quite unique and different from the usual floral wreaths! 

Imagine making a wreath out of braided rope!  I first saw a braided rope wreath here on Pinterest and immediately thought the braiding didn't quite do the design or wreath justice. The braided rope was just too thin. So using thicker rope, and increasing the number of rope strands, I created a braided rope wreath anyone would have fun making! And the best part, it can be made in less than an hour, including adding embellishments to suit the season or occasion! It's the perfect way to impress anyone who sees it, too!

Materials Needed:
  • Jute Rope - 50ft 10mm
  • Heavy duty craft scissors or craft knife
  • Clear cellophane tape
  • Painter's tape 
  • Clamps
  • Fabric glue
  • Cardboard
  • Pencil
  • Large round container or compass to draw circle 
  • Hot glue gun/glue sticks
  • Flower embellishments
  • Command strip for hanging

Disclosure I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites, this post may contain links. I may receive a very small commission at no cost to you! The affiliate money I earn helps pay my crafting expenses. Thanks so much for your support!

Instructions:

First, decide how large you want the wreath to be. I decided on 15 inches wide - which happen to be the diameter of the bowl I was using to make the circle. I couldn't find my compass to actually draw on a circle. 

Then, begin by grouping the rope into three sections of three rope strands. To do this, start with a 50 feet length of rope and divide the 50' by 9 (strands) getting 5.5ft or 66 inches. More than enough to braid and cover the cardboard backing. Next, cut the rope into nine, 66 inch lengths. And tape the ends with clear tape to prevent fraying or unraveling. After taping, grouped the strands into three sections and secure the sections onto the work surface using painter's tape.

To begin braiding, take the left rope section over the middle rope section and then take the right section over the middle section. Almost like braiding or plaiting hair. Except you have to keep the rope strands flat as you braid.
Continue the same steps, crossing the left section over the middle section and crossing the right section over the middle section creating the braid. 
Make sure to keep all the rope strands flat, and together, as you braid the same way, consistently.  
Continue the braiding pattern until reaching the end of the ropes, making sure the end ropes are laying flat. Add fabric glue to the rope ends and areas around the ends to seal together and let dry.
While the rope ends are drying, make the cardboard wreath backing by using a large bowl or compass to draw a 15" circle on the cardboard.
Then measure 2 inches in, and draw another circle and .  .  .
cut out using a craft knife.
Once the glue on the rope has dried, place the braided rope on the cardboard, adjusting to fit flat. Cut off excess rope and .  .  .
adjust braided rope to fit onto cardboard, gluing the rope ends together and let dry.
Once satisfied with braided rope wreath placement, begin adding hot glue to cardboard in increments and press wreath onto cardboard, holding in place until glue dries.
Continue adding hot glue around the cardboard in increments and placing wreath on top to seal together until glue is dry .  .  .
until the braided rope wreath is completely secured .  .  .
 to the cardboard.
Then begin adding floral embellishments .  .  .
for a decorative spring look!
Add a  command strip to the back for hanging.
Now, it's time for the February Pin Challenge! The purpose of the Pinterest Challenge is to motivate us to not just pin, but to make it happen! This month's challenge is all about Spring Wreaths.
For more Pinterest inspired projects from this month's Pinterest Challenge hosts, check out the links below ↓

 

Spring Pizza Pan Wreath @Cookies Coffee and Crafts

Braided Rope Spring Wreath @Purple Hues and Me

Easy Two Color Burlap Wreath @Our Sutton Place

Spring tulle rainbow wreath

Spring Tulle Rainbow Wreath @My Pinterventures

St. Patrick's Day Shamrock Wreath @Little Vintage Cottage

St. Patrick's Day Wreath Using a Charger @Our Good Life

Spring Bird Grapevine Wreath with Lace and Ivy @Mom Home Guide